Justice Krishna Iyer rejects atheism charge against textbooks

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Kochi, Jul 1 (UNI) Noted Jurist and Human Rights champion Justice V R Krishna Iyer today said he did not find merit in the ''organised criticism'' unleashed by a section of people against school textbooks in Kerala as Marxist propaganda.

Talking to mediapersons here, the legendary former Supreme Court judge said, ''I think the agitation is motivated by communalists in the vain hope that they can repeat the 1959 overthrow of a government.'' The Catholic Church has been demanding the withdrawal of the Class VII Social Studies textbook on the grounds that it promotes atheism and communism.

Dismissing this charge, Justice Krishna Iyer said it was the need of the hour to teach young boys and girls about the importance of secularism and true spiritualism, which was different from ''religionism''.

However, he said the only thing he found ''deficient'' in the textbook was that it did not tell the students anything about contemporary social problems.

''Instead of talking about 100-year-old historical events and personalities, the textbook should talk of contemporary problems such as global warming, environment pollution, tobacco abuse and the 'westoxicated' lifestyle that is replacing Indian values,'' he added.

UNI ARC VV SSI SR VC2127

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